To tell you the ugly truth about your toothbrush, it is home to more than 100 million bacteria including staphylococci (Staph) bacteria, E. coli, and fecal germs. It carries germs and residue from the mouth after day-by-day brushing. It gets bacteria from the air when it sits in the toilet. Moreover, multiple toothbrushes in the household that are placed in one container can cause bacterial cross-contamination. So, how will you get rid of these bacteria on your toothbrush? 

Your mouth has hundreds of microorganisms touched and scraped by your toothbrush every day. It leaves your mouth clean but your toothbrush unsanitary. When ignored, it can hold many bacteria that can be transferred in your mouth in each use. Thus, disinfecting your toothbrush is crucial. 

Here are the 15 supreme ways to get rid of bacteria on your toothbrush.

1. Rinse thoroughly before and after brushing.

Since you use a toothbrush to scrub the surface of your teeth and to scrape your tongue, you must rinse its bristles with cold water before and after use. It carries the germs out of the mouth. Hence, it must be washed thoroughly. It should leave the mouth cleaner and it must serve its purpose.

2. Sterilize your toothbrush using hot water.

Rinsing is not enough. It cannot kill the collected germs and bacteria in the bristles. Pouring hot water on its head is the easiest method to terminate bacteria. When the hot water runs to the bristles and produces steam, the stored plaque and germs are eliminated. It removes the food residue that had been accumulated by the toothbrush from each use. However, you should not boil the toothbrush in a kettle. The plastic handle will melt. Just place it in a cup with its head down. Then, pour the hot water.

3. Kill germs and bacteria on your toothbrush using mouthwash.

To thoroughly disinfect your toothbrush, soak it in an antibacterial mouthwash. Antiseptic mouthwash has several active ingredients, such as menthol, eucalyptol, and alcohol that can all kill bacteria. It will surely take away unwanted microorganisms in the bristles. On the other hand, you should only soak the head for ten minutes to avoid bristles from breaking down. 

4. Soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide solution.

The hydrogen peroxide solution is another technique to get rid of bacteria in the toothbrush. To have a clean toothbrush, store it in a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution that is changed daily. To make a hydrogen peroxide solution, mix 1 teaspoon of peroxide in one cup of water. Put the toothbrush with its bristles down. It is an effective disinfectant that can terminate essential components of germ cells and deactivate a wide variety of microorganisms. It can kill 100% of germs.

5. Use vinegar.

If mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide is not available in your home, vinegar is a natural solution. 100% white vinegar is found the most effective alternative method. It can kill germs in the toothbrush according to a 2014 study. To disinfect using vinegar, soak your toothbrush overnight every week to have a cleaner toothbrush.

6. Make a baking soda solution.

If you have baking soda or sodium bicarbonate at home, you can sanitize your toothbrush better. Baking soda has an antibacterial cleaning power and can also be used as a teeth whitener. It is used as a teeth-whitening ingredient in toothpaste. Just mix two teaspoons of baking soda in 1 cup of water. Then soak your toothbrush in the solution.

7. Use a toothbrush sanitizing device. 

If you have an extra amount, invest in a toothbrush sanitizing device. Ultraviolet (UV) light sanitizing products for toothbrushes are found effective in disinfecting toothbrushes. The UV light destroys the molecular bonds that hold together the DNA of bacteria and viruses in the bristles of toothbrushes.

8. Disinfect toothbrushes using a denture-cleansing solution.

Using a tablet denture cleanser is another way to sanitize your toothbrush. It has an antibacterial cleaning system with detergents and enzymes that aid in the breakdown of the food protein. The foaming action loosens particles that stay in the bristles for a long period. 

9. Never store your toothbrush in the toilet.

Keep toothbrushes away from the toilet to get rid of the airborne bacteria. They were released in the air after flushing. Otherwise, always keep the lid closed when flushing.

10. Never place multiple toothbrushes in a container.

Avoid the side-by-side storing of toothbrushes in the household. They must be kept a couple of inches apart. This prevents bacterial cross-contamination. It blocks the spread of illnesses and contagious diseases.

11. Air dry toothbrush before putting back its cover or case.

Stop covering your toothbrush after use. Shake or tap the bristles to remove the water. Air-dry the toothbrush before putting back its cover. Also, never place your wet toothbrush in a closed container or its travel case. Bacteria can thrive. Wait until it is completely dry.

12. Clean your toothbrush holder and container every two weeks.

Use a separate brush to clean your toothbrush container with soap and water. Similarly, never forget to clean the holder of your toothbrush. Wipe away the dirt. Rinse them very well. Let them dry. 

13. Use a toothpaste dispenser to avoid cross-contamination.

Lessen the chances of your toothbrush having contact with the mouth of the toothpaste. Use a toothpaste pump dispenser to avoid bacterial cross-contamination. Make sure to hold the toothbrush away from the tip of the pump to avoid getting or spreading bacteria. 

14. Never share your toothbrush with someone.

Never share your toothbrush with anyone even with your special someone. Protect yourself from germs, illnesses, and infections. The bacteria that are scraped from others’ mouths will be transferred to yours.

15. Change toothbrush every three to four months or if you have been sick to avoid reinfection.

The final way to get rid of bacteria is to change your toothbrush every three to four months. However, if you have been sick with colds and flu, do not wait for three to four months. Throw your toothbrush right away to avoid reinfection and transmission of diseases to family members.